The Democratic National Committee plans to spend $50 million on November’s midterm elections, Chairman Tim Kaine said today.
“We are very committed to holding on to strong majorities” in both the U.S. House and Senate, Kaine told reporters in Washington.
Top Democratic officials recognize that many of their candidates will face serious challenges in the elections, as polling shows voters turning on Democrats in crucial battleground districts and states.
The spending commitment marks an expanded role for the national party committee, which has come under fire from Democrats in the past for failing to give enough to individual races.
Kaine said $20 million will be used to help state parties, individual races and candidates. The remaining $30 million will fund national programs such as voter outreach and protection of voting rights.
The funding will include a program announced by President Barack Obama earlier this week that targets 15 million voters who went to the polls for the first time during the 2008 elections.
Republicans today accused the White House of “race- baiting,” saying that the outreach plan relies heavily on the turnout of minority voters.
Democrats plan to tout their legislative accomplishments, while painting Republicans as obstructionists seeking to block action on issues that include health care, the economy and drafting new rules for Wall Street.
“Why make a change when we are on a significant uptick,” asked Kaine. “Let’s keep climbing.”
Electoral forecasts show Republicans may make big gains in November thanks to a strong anti-incumbent feeling in the country.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released today found public support for incumbents at the lowest point since 1994, with less than a third of voters saying they would support their current elected representatives in the elections.
Democrats control 59 seats in the 100-member Senate. In the House, Democrats hold 254 seats, with 218 representing the majority in the 435-member chamber.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Lerer in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org